FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Swan Song of the Democrats

by MIKE WHITNEY

 

The Democrats did us all a favor by giving Bush his Iraq war-money. After all, the Dems have supported the war from the get-go; so why not expose them as the hypocrites they really are?

The truth is, no one is really surprised by Friday’s vote. We have one party in America”the War Party—the Dems are merely a junior partner in that system.

It boggles the mind that so many so-called “liberals” continue to be hoodwinked by the Democratic Party. After all, what do they offer—a slight boost in the hourly wage? Better management of foreign massacres?!?

But, what else? The Democrats are even giving ground on a women’s “right to choose”, which, up until now, had been their one defining issue. Now even that is eroding.

So, what do the Democrats really stand for?

This is not the party of F.D.R., my friend. This is the party of Bill Clinton, the Master of Triangulation. Clinton was nothing more than the flip-side of George Bush. The bombing of Belgrade was as big a crime as Shock and Awe–although it was cleverly masked behind Clinton’s “Aw shucks” charm and the ever-compliant media.

Clinton sold out the American worker by passing NAFTA. He dismantled the social safety net with his Welfare Reform. He destroyed the last vestiges of the free media by signing the Telecommunications Act. And he revealed his utter lack of principle by refusing to sign the Land Mines Treaty—a document that would have saved the lives of thousands of children every year.

Smart guy—no principles.

Clinton never did anything that wasn’t politically calculated. Hell, he probably had his slide-rule out during his visits with Monica to figure out the exact amount of gratification he could have without feeling guilty. Sure, he was bright and good natured but, his critics are also right–he was utterly devoid of principle. And yet, this is the Democratic Party’s “big hero”; a man who has become the shining example for the future leaders in the party.

What a disaster!

The Democratic Party is not the party that people think it is. This is the party of Rahm Emanuel and the DLC. The leadership is unwaveringly pro-war, pro Israel, and pro free trade. There’s no room for anything else. The Democrats have no intention withdrawing from Iraq. That’s just speculation on the part of blindly-optimistic voters who still believe that their voices will be heard. They won’t be heard. The Democrats will NEVER get us out of Iraq.

The real position of the Dems on Iraq is even MORE IMMORAL than the Republicans. They want to redeploy outside of the country while reducing the number of troops on the ground. In other words, they want to build a “sustainable” model for stealing the world’s second largest petroleum reserves.

It’s a more discreet strategy than Bush’s bloody “surge”, but is any less immoral?

It would be better for the country if the Democratic Party just called it quits and disbanded right now. (although, they appear to be doing a pretty good job of that already)

The party is a bigger obstacle to progressive reform and systemic change than the Republicans.

As long as the Dems continue to trick people into believing that they represent substantive change–or even a serious defense of their vital economic interests–the charade will persist and things will get worse.

Real progressive reform should address the central issues facing, not only Americans, but the entire world—nuclear proliferation, global warming, peak oil, population growth, food supply and disease.

Reform isn’t even part of the Democrat’s agenda. Like their Republican counterparts, they are primarily focused on enriching corporate donors, facilitating free trade, and chasing shadowy Islamic groups through Central Asia and the Middle East.

Real reform would restore progressive taxation by reinstating the brackets that were used during the early 1950s; that is, everyone making over $200,000 per year ($1 million by today’s standards) pays 93% of their earnings! Without a concerted effort to narrow the massive wealth gap through redistribution”the country will continue along its present path to tyranny. Those who have benefited most from the security, infrastructure and prosperity provided by state should naturally pay more. That is the fundamental tenet of progressive taxation and it is essential if we want to strengthen the middle class and “raise all boats” (as the Republicans like to say)

Besides, who’s going to lose sleep over taxing the rich?

A progressive platform should also include a plan to nationalize the oil industry. The record profits from oil production should be going into infrastructure, education and alternate fuels—not fattening the foreign banks accounts of obscenely rich oil moguls. In an age of resource scarcity, we cannot allow the market to decide who will get access to the energy that everyone needs to maintain minimal standards of comfort.

We’ve already seen how big oil is willing to use our children as cannon fodder in their wars of aggression. We’ve also seen how they work tirelessly to confuse the public on crucial issues such as global warming by pumping millions of dollars into bogus science and misleading public relations campaigns. The oil industry operates without a conscience putting its bottom line above the very survival of the species. The best thing to do is “return the favor” by seizing the industry”Hugo Chavez style—and putting it to work for the people it is supposed to serve. If the oil executives still choose to continue the fight for Iraqi oil; we should provide them with sidearms and Kevlar vests and turn them lose in Baghdad. Let them fend for themselves—everyone else comes home.

The country doesn’t need two War Parties run by the same establishment elites. The present system is a fraud which marginalizes 95% of the American people and makes democracy impossible. What we need is a Labor Party that addresses the issues which are critical to working class people. Labor Party affiliation should be the equivalent of union membership”providing a clear statement of support for pensions, universal health care, maternity leave, yearly wage increases tied to productivity, profit sharing, collective bargaining rights and 50% representation on all corporate boards. The goal of a Labor Party should not merely be to live off the scraps from the corporate table, but to share political power in shaping the country’s economic agenda. That’s the only way that we can balance class-based interests and avoid unnecessary future conflicts.

Anyone who thinks politics is just about “making money” is nuts. Political parties emerge to take power—and that should be the objective of Labor—raw political power. Nothing else will do.

What’s needed is a broad coalition of leftist organizations coalescing in a party that represents the objectives of working people.

Labor needs a voice in government and the Democrats are not that voice.

By capitulating to Bush, the Democratic Party has cut the ground out from beneath itself and hastened its own demise. Good riddance. Now, let’s push the rusty hulk out of the road and go forward.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
Charles R. Larson
A Review of Mary Roach’s “Grunt”
David Yearsley
Stuck in Houston on the Cusp of the Apocalypse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail